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Audi finalises Indian debut, to roll out imported models first

14-August-2004
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Audi finalises Indian debut, to roll out imported models first

Premium luxury car Audi will debut in the Indian market by October-November with the A8 and All-road Quattro. Amit Burman of the Delhi-based Dabur group is setting up the first Audi dealership in the Capital, to cater to the entire north.

Two cars of the Audi range -- A6 and TT Coupe are going through homologation (road worthiness tests) at present, while bookings have commenced for the 2.5 litre (diesel) Quattro and 3 litre (petrol) A8. The latter can be imported directly without going through homologation as their value is over $40,000. Cars above this value do not have to undertake homologation before being sold in the country. The four models will retail in the range of Rs 32 and Rs 50-odd lakh.

Confirming the development, Amit Burman told FE: "The Audi dealership ‘Euro Motors Pvt Ltd’ is my personal venture. We have already taken land at Okhla in Delhi to construct a 3S (service, spares and sales) outlet which will involve an investment of Rs 2.5 crore. We have received a host of enquiries for these cars."

Mr Burman hopes to expand to other states such as Punjab and Uttar Pradesh later.

Even as the company has entered the domestic market by importing cars from Germany, it is studying the possibility of starting assembly operations in India.

"Assembling cars will no doubt be the most effective in the long term. For a start, we will be importing cars made in Germany and selling them through direct dealers in major cities. This will be the fastest way to enter the market. We will begin by appointing dealers offering the full range of sales, after-sales and parts services in Mumbai and Delhi. This will be followed by additional service centres to meet customer needs in other locations as the business develops," Audi Asia Pacific country manager Sunil Kaul told FE.

"In the longer term, it will be necessary to have CKD (completely knocked down) production in order to fully maximise market potential. This is something that we are investigating at the moment," he added.

Audi views India as one of the most important markets in Asia. Mr Kaul said, "We certainly do not want to miss out on the opportunities available here. After Japan, Korea and China, it’s the fourth largest passenger car market in Asia and we see the possibility of it experiencing a similar development as China in the years to come."

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